Personnel qualified from ACC Courses:
That China has finally started playing what they call ‘shen shi yun dong’, ‘the noble game’, is a significant step forward for cricket. In the words of former ICC President Ehsan Mani, “Cricket cannot call itself a global game when one-fifth of the world’s population is not aware of it.”
They are aware of it now. Media coverage of China’s emergence has at times rivalled that of Afghanistan’s; following the initial euphoria has come an understanding of just how large the challenge is to introduce cricket into China. “Developing cricket in China is a twenty-year project,” said ICC Global Development Manager Matthew Kennedy in 2006. It still holds true.
The women are ahead of the men in that marathon, having reached several ACC Finals and continue to show considerable promise. They were a catch away from beating Bangladesh in the ACC Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup in October 2012.
Introducing cricket into China is a threefold testing-ground: i) for the Asian Cricket Council Development Program, ii) the Chinese state sporting machine and iii) the appeal of the game of cricket itself.
China’s coach Rashid Khan, seconded by the Pakistan Cricket Board since 2006, said in 2008, “Development is new, coaching systems are new and China is new to cricket so it is not easy. It is like me learning Chinese by reading a dictionary and watching Chinese movies. To those who want quick results I say it is not possible, to those who want good results I say it is possible. But only if good things are done every step of the way.”
In 2013 intermediate coaching numbers doubled and junior involvement shot up by over 460% as cricket was taken across the nine provinces that currently have cricket programs in their schools. The search for new territories for cricket continues with the north-east being particularly favoured as the region is considered to breed the hardiest individuals in China. In 2014 player numbers rose by 20%.
The Guangzhou stadium built specially for the 2010 Asian Games continues to be used for domestic cricket, and for international cricket most recently for the 2012 ACC Twenty20 Women’s Asia Cup. It is part of a ground-sharing scheme in operation with the neighbouring Hong Kong Cricket Association.
Bangladesh, India and Pakistan have been supportive as hosts to touring teams from the mainland. There is also increasing interaction with Hong Kong. Playing and coaching berths have been found for China’s best players in Australia, England and Hong Kong since 2012.
CHINESE CRICKET ASSOCIATION
2 Tiyuguan Road
Chong Wen District
Tel: +86 10 87182911
Fax : + 86 10 6716 1733